340:100-3-5.1. Volunteer guardians and advocates
(a) Purpose.Volunteer guardians and advocates are recommended by the Personal Support Team (Team) when service recipients have unmet advocacy needs and no appropriate relative willing to serve.
(b) Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS)responsibilities.
(1) When the need for a guardian is determined through the capacity assessment process, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:100-3-5, the DDS case manager forwards Form 06MP032E, Capacity Assessment, with a recommendation for a volunteer guardian to the DDS case management supervisor.When volunteer guardianship is recommended, documentation of attempts made to locate an eligible guardian, per OAC 340:100-3-5 must be included.
(2) The DDS case management supervisor reviews the documents, and when approved, forwards the documents to the DDS director or designee.
(3) The DDS director or designee reviews Form 06MP032E and, when approved, issues a voucher to the volunteer.
(c) Volunteer guardianship eligibility requirements.In addition to requirements, per OAC 340:100-3-5, eligibility criteria for volunteer guardians listed in (1) through (6) of this subsection apply.
(1) A corporate officer, member of the board of directors, owner, operator, administrator, or employee of a facility subject to provisions of Section 1-1901 et seq. of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes (63 O.S. §§ 1-1901 et seq.) or 10 O.S. § 1430.1 et seq. or other DDS providers are ineligible to be appointed volunteer guardian of a person receiving services from that provider.
(A) An immediate family member, such as a wife, husband, brother, sister, biological or adoptive child, biological or adoptive parent, stepparent, stepchild, adult biological or stepchild, of an ineligible person cannot serve as a volunteer guardian.
(B) An extended family member, such as a parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin, of an ineligible person cannot serve as a volunteer guardian when there is evidence that financial interdependence exists.
(2) DDS employees cannot serve as volunteer guardians.
(A) An immediate family member, including a wife, husband, brother, sister, biological or adoptive child, biological or adoptive parent, stepparent, stepchild, adult biological or stepchild, of the DDS employee cannot serve as a volunteer guardian.
(B) An extended family member, including a parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepchild, brother-in- law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin, of the DDS employee cannot serve as a volunteer.
(3) Any exceptions to the selection of a volunteer guardian, per OAC 340:100-3-5.1(c)(1) and (2) must be approved by the DDS programs manager for guardianship.
(4) Employees of Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) cannot serve as volunteer guardians for Robert M. Greer Center residents, per 10 O.S. § 1415.
(5) Potential guardians must:
(A) consent to a background check, per OAC 340:100-3-39 and a DHS Community Services Worker Registry check;
(B) be willing and able to fulfill guardian responsibilities;
(C) be certified by DDS; and
(D) be approved by the Team.
(6) A volunteer guardian:
(A) supports philosophies and values consistent with the DDS mission statement, per OAC 340:100-1-3.1; and
(B) may not act as a volunteer guardian for more than two service recipients unless approved in advance, and in writing, by the DDS programs manager for guardianship.
(d) Volunteer guardian responsibilities.Volunteer guardian responsibilities are outlined, per OAC 340:100-3-5.
(e) Volunteer guardian and advocate eligibility requirements.DDS supports the recruitment of volunteers from outside of the service-delivery system to avoid conflicts of interest.
(1) Non-DHS employees, contract providers, and employees of contract providers may serve as volunteer advocates, when:
(A) an ongoing relationship exists with the service recipient;
(B) they are not providing direct services to the service recipient and are not employed by a provider agency or DHS program that provides services to the service recipient; and
(C) they serve as a volunteer advocate or guardian for no more than two service recipients.
(2) DDS employees may not serve as volunteer advocates.
(3) Any exceptions to the selection of a volunteer advocate, per OAC 340:100-3-5.1 must be approved in advance and in writing by the DDS director or designee.
(4) The appointment of a volunteer advocate is made by Team agreement and is documented in the Individual Plan (Plan).
(f) Volunteer advocate responsibilities.A volunteer advocate assists the service recipient in making decisions, and supports the service recipient in preserving his or her rights and obtaining necessary services.Such supports may include:
(1) reviewing the quality of services provided to the service recipient;
(2) attending the Plan meeting or other meeting(s);
(3) assisting the service recipient with financial decisions;
(4) accompanying the service recipient to medical appointments; or
(5) assisting the service recipient in completing applications.
(g) Volunteer guardian and advocate monitoring.Volunteer guardian and advocate monitoring is provided by DDS guardianship staff.
(h) Volunteer guardian and advocate training requirements.Volunteers must participate in training regarding understanding and defining advocacy, developing effective advocacy skills, working effectively with service recipients and Teams, community inclusion, Oklahoma's service delivery system, and confidentiality.Volunteer guardians must participate in additional training regarding guardianship responsibilities, duties, and limitations.
(1) Training is provided by DDS at no cost to the volunteer.
(2) Volunteers receive orientation from the volunteer guardianship agency regarding applicable DHS rules and procedures.
(3) Volunteer guardians proceed with knowledge they are not covered by 51 O.S. § 151 et seq., The Governmental Tort Claims Act, as they are not authorized to act on behalf of DHS, nor can they be so authorized without creating a conflict of interest in their roles as guardians.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:100-3-5.1
1.When the Personal Support Team (Team) requests that a volunteer guardian search is needed the Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) case manager:
(1) schedules a team meeting to complete Form 06MP032E, Capacity Assessment, and, when possible, the service recipient attends the meeting;
(2) completes Form 06MP029E,DDS Volunteer Guardian Request, when the assessment indicates the need for a volunteer guardian; and
(3) emails Forms 06MP029E and 06MP032E to email@example.com